Ep 116 – Why Losing Potential Coaching Clients Is a Gift

This episode is inspired by the wisdom of hindsight. Don’t we all love hindsight!

As a highly experienced coach, I can say without hesitation that not every coach will be the best client for me. And not every client will be the best client for you either.

In fact, some clients could end up being difficult to work with. Episode #98 was about this. In that case you and the client may suffer each time you have a session. And that’s sad because here you are intending to do good yet harm could be done.

I assure you, it’s not because there’s anything wrong with that client or that there’s anything wrong with you. It comes down to how well the client aligns with you and you align with the client.

Differences in Pace, Style and Values

When communication style, pace and guiding values align there’s a harmonious coaching relationship.

Let’s take pace. Have you ever had a client who talks so fast you can’t understand them? Or maybe it’s you who is the fast talker and your client is struggling to keep up with you. Pace in speech and processing is very personal.

There can be differences about the way our minds work. Differences in learning style, in work style too. Some client’s will have very different values than you and that could be challenging.

It’s true that part of our job as coaches is to learn our client’s ways and meet them with respect and agility in our approach. Sometimes that’s just not possible.

One of the preferences that I have with my clients is that we value each other as human beings. I’ve had clients where I felt like their slave. Obviously, that didn’t last.

But I’ve also had clients who are warm and connective, which brings us both so much joy. Now I ask for this kind of connection when I begin a client relationship. I don’t just want to help a coach build their coaching business from the ground up. I want us to enjoy the journey and each other.

5 Ways Fit Helps You and Your Coaching Clients

Fit between a client and coach makes the difference in whether:

  1. You end a session drained or energized
  2. Your coaching lands with the person
  3. The client makes real measurable progress
  4. You receive testimonials and referrals
  5. The client comes back for more

If you’re just getting started as a coach, there’s a strong desire to enroll anyone! You may be feeling “I’ll take anyone!” After all, at first client flow can be a slow trickle. I remember that. And I totally get that need to experience yourself coaching and earning as fast as you can.

As you gain experience though you might find yourself turning down a potential client before you’ve ever coached them. I have many times. I know that might seem hard to imagine.

Can You Fire a Coaching Client?

You may even need to end a coaching relationship at some point in time. I’ve had to let clients go. Each time, I’ve reflected and realized that there were warning signs that the fit wasn’t right when I met them in a Discovery Call.

Having a Discovery Call not a sample coaching session is a highly effective way to assess fit because you can ask questions to understand pace, style and values

It’s worth it to build up your intuition and pay attention to what’s important to you in the co-creative relationship.

Nearly every time I’ve let a potential client or existing client go, they have felt the lack of fit too on reflection. I take my part of the responsibility and emphasize that I’m not a good fit for them rather than the other way around.

But there have been a couple of times where a potential client insisted I work with them even though I knew for certain we weren’t a good fit. I’ve had to kindly say to them that for the sake of my integrity I know that it’s not right for me to work with them. Where possible I’ve referred those individuals to someone else. And I’ve found they are grateful that I spoke up.

Ideal Clients for Every Coach

Back in 2006 when I launched Prosperous Coach and became known as the Coaching Niche Strategist I had a vision for the field of coaching that every coach would become highly specialized, not only in their unique audience and niche but also in the parameters of the work they do with a client.

The idea is that all coaches become excellent referral partners for each other. So instead of taking on a client that is not a fit for you or your niche, you’ll refer them to a coach who has that specialty and style. I still hold this vision.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of tens of thousands of coaches all in the same few niches you would stand out and quickly become known for your narrow specialty? You’d become a subject matter expert.

I’ll talk about finding the niche within your niche in an episode soon. Have you ever thought that someone else could be a better coach for a client?

There’s a maturity in that mindset. And there’s a bonus too. Because you’ll stop suffering if a potential client does not hire you. You’ll find peace in the idea that it’s simply about fit. And that will allow you to attract clients who are ideal for you.

Ep 115 – How to Market Your Coaching Business Just Like You Coach

Today I want to change your perception of marketing.

When you think of marketing, do you cringe? Have you been thinking things like this?

  • Marketing will feel sleazy no matter how I do it. I hate the idea of it!
  • I have to become good at selling myself.
  • Marketing, selling and advertising are all the same thing.
  • I don’t know how to market.

I thought those things too. And I think our response to high-pressure marketing tactics is what formed those beliefs. The sad thing is some of those tactics work and then you feel ashamed of having fallen for it.

I’ve surveyed coaches on their thoughts about marketing over decades and the urban myths about marketing remain much the same.

Most coaches think of it as a necessary evil.

Here’s what I think … if you believe you have to sell your soul to market you’ll never market effectively. But marketing is critical to attract clients. Without it, your business will be the best-kept secret.

There’s this assumption that once you finish coach training and throw up a coaching website the clients will come rolling in.

The reality is that coaches, as with most other businesses, have to create their marketplace from scratch. That’s another of a multitude of reasons that targeting a unique audience and having a stand out niche is so helpful.

I had that same assumption when I started and was disabused of that pretty quickly. That’s why I say don’t sell coaching. It’s a steep upward climb to success if you have to convince prospects they want coaching before you can enroll them. For more on that, experience episode #7.

And by the way, I’m honored by all the new coaches who are finding my podcast. Consider going back to episode 1 and listening chronologically. It will be a helpful and eye opening experience for you. Find that by scrolling to the beginning of my podcast in an app or go to prosperouscoach.com/1.

Before you despair, creating your own marketplace is a powerful, graceful and loving action if you let it be.

If you market consciously and authentically you will not have to advertise, sell yourself or your soul.

I know it’s true because I live it every day.

Marketing can be much like coaching. This is how that works …

  • First raise curiosity about your target audience. What makes your audience tick? Who are they inside?
  • Ask them powerful questions. What do they really want (not need)? What is a big problem that’s keeping them from getting what they want?
  • Listen to their words as they describe what’s most important to them.
  • Engage your intuition.
  • Discover the top values that drive them.
  • Help them see their future the way they want it to look.

Is that what you do when you coach a client?

That is what conscious, authentic marketing looks, sounds and feels like.

  • It’s connecting, NOT performing.
  • It’s compassionate and understanding not pushy and manipulative.
  • It’s powerful because it feels relevant to your audience.

When you coach clients you know your intentions are positive, right?

Apply that to marketing. Be real. Come from love not attachment or manipulation. And don’t forget to speak to what’s most important to your audience using their words.

When I see coaches plug coaching I cringe. When social posts, blogs, podcast episodes or videos push the idea of coaching without so much of a consideration to WHO might be listening, I remember when I use to do that and failed miserably at attracting clients.

That’s going to feel sleazy if you market that way.

So save yourself making your own skin crawl.

You don’t have to sell people on your services. Let them come to their own conclusions by building a community for your audience with your marketing.

When I work with my VIP clients, I always encourage them to pick an audience they can directly relate to. A tribe of people they understand – either because they’ve been where they are or they still are where they are.

It’s relevance that attracts people to you. They connect because you show that you understand them through your messages, Signature Program – every word on your website and every word you put out to them.

Yes, some marketing is more aggressive than we appreciate, but your marketing doesn’t need to be aggressive to be effective. Your goal is to attract your ideal clients, not everyone. That’s for another episode.

For now, start making these mindset shifts.

  1. Turn on your curiosity and understanding for your audience. Turn off performance mode.
  2. Shift away from loathing marketing to loving it because you connect with your audience authentically.
  3. Shift away from thinking you should sell people on the idea of coaching. That convincing will feel awful.
  4. Shift away from believing you have to sell yourself. If you are real, genuine, authentic, vulnerable and also own what you know – you will attract ideal clients.
  5. Shift away from giving free coaching sessions to enroll clients. There’s a better way.

Ep 114 – 10 Things That Help You Become a Coach in High Demand

One of my VIP clients was researching other coaches in her niche last week. She came away from that shocked and concerned.

So many of the sites felt like ghost towns. A lack of current content or pages out of date seemed to signify the sites were abandoned.

Besides this one, three distinct fears crop up fast from researching other coach’s websites:

  • Is the coaching field too saturated?
  • Can I compete with this?
  • Should I even try to make it in coaching?

First, I assure you the coaching field is not too saturated, especially if you do things to stand out in the crowd, which you’ll hear me reinforce a lot.

And should you even try? Only you can answer that. You know your mind and heart. If this truly important to you, you’ll go after it with singular focus and true grit.

It may be hard to accept this. A lot of coaches do not make it — mostly because they lack determination.

Building and sustaining a business is no small feat. So many coaches will spend all the time and money to learn coaching skills then do all the tasks to launch but let the whole thing go before they even cross the threshold. Or, they give it 6 months then give up.

Looking back I’m amazed that I stayed the course considering my many mistakes and some slow years. I’m stubborn that way. Stick-to-it-iveness pays off.

So yeah, there’s tremendous attrition. And that’s true for all startups, not just coaching startups.

I encourage YOU to think of this attrition dispassionately. What really matters is YOUR courage of conviction. Don’t give up. Every problem has a solution.

Find your way and enjoy the journey because few things in life will teach you so many meaningful life changing things as growing your business.

What most coaches ultimately want is to become a coach in high demand. That golden place where clients find YOU and they are ready to enroll. It’s something you absolutely can achieve if you give it a chance.

I ’ve narrowed it down to 10 things all coaches need to become a coach in high demand:

Specialize on an Audience with a Specific Big Problem and Goal

The viability of your audience and niche is the cornerstone of your stability as a coach. If you stand out in the crowd and become well known by a unique and viable audience, you set yourself up for success. The more broad your audience or light your niche, the less likely you’ll gain traction.

Implement a Strong Content Strategy

Standing out matters here too. If your blogs, episodes, videos and social posts seem to be just like every other coach’s, those efforts won’t pay off. Content is still King and Queen!

Grow Unstoppable Determination

This is about character. Will you apply discipline? Will you believe in yourself and this calling even when there’s no proof you’ll make it?

Take Daily High Payoff Actions

A high payoff action makes you squirm. Coaches who make it will do the hard things until they are no longer hard to do and then they’ll find other challenges.

Have Patience

The first eighteen months after launch is a critical time. Because it’s during that time you’re most likely to give up. Patience is absolutely required. Without it, you’ll live in disappointment and give up before you’ve gotten started.

Value Your Time Highly

Act as if you are already in high demand. Choose wisely where you put your time and energy. Control your calendar and pinpoint your efforts. Set up and hold boundaries. Be a professional.

Charge High Prices

Graduate from student mode quickly. Stop charging by the session or month and develop a Signature Program. Charge fees that will allow you to work with few clients each year.

Develop a Platform

A platform is a stage that allows you to reach people. I was asked to train at Coach Training Alliance and to re-write their curriculum. This put me in front of hundreds of coaches that wanted my help to build their business. As you network to reach your specific target audience, because you’ve specialized an organization or center of influence might notice you and help your star rise.

Help Your Client Achieve Critical Results

If your clients are satisfied you’re worth the investment, you’ll enroll more but only if you’re charging well for your services. Professionalism and a sense of authority are strong attractors.

Ask for and Reward Referrals

I used to think any happy client would refer. But people are busy. You have to incentivize referrals. For example, when one of my VIP clients refers someone who enrolls in my 5-month VIP Coaching Business Breakthrough program I reward them with 2 free sessions to use anytime. It’s a strong incentive.

Ep 112 – Fall Back in Love with Your Coaching Business

This episode is a surprise package. It was to me and hopefully it will be to you too.

The longer I’m in business for myself — and it’s been a couple of decades now — the more I realize that once you have the strategy in place, success at your coaching business is largely an inner game.

And that’s mostly true about all aspects of life.

In a few minutes I’m going to share something radical that could help you to fall bacj in love with your coaching business and your life. But first let me take you back 14 years to an inspiring moment in time.

In 2006, when I first launched Prosperous Coach, it was a membership program with a year’s worth of curriculum for new coaches. One of my members made a huge impression on me. And I realized that while I was teaching other coaches how to launch, one of my Prosperous Coach members became my teacher.

This isn’t unusual in coaching by the way. Our clients have a lot to teach us.

This woman, I’ll call her Reena, was incredible! Smart, funny and wise. She was warm and encouraging to everyone. She accepted everyone as they were and filled the Prosperous Coach community with love.

She also had amazing successes early on that were so inspiring and possibly a bit intimidating to other coaches. Clients were flocking to Reena. She was getting $10,000 coaching contracts.

And before you start imagining a statuesque woman in an expensive suit … Reena was, I think, 5 feet tall, boyish, wore no makeup and could care less about clothes. She was not memorable by her looks but by her presence.

She’d always say that Prosperous Coach made her prosperous. She was a walking billboard for me. And it made me blush because ultimately I knew that I deserved little credit for her coaching business success.

I say this not to be self-deprecating but because over time we became long distance friends. Beyond her graduating from my program she’d touch in from time to time saying how much I and Prosperous Coach meant to her.

And, I learned that she had many businesses before her coaching business, ranging from farms to corporate think tanks and other diverse things — each one of them wildly successful.

She’d start a business, bring in a team, nurture that team with love, respect and encouragement then turn over responsibility and move on to her next adventure. She was a consummate coach helping other people’s stars rise. And she was beloved among her colleagues.

She never talked about money but I knew she was wealthy in every respect of the word. And she was the most FREE person I’d ever met.

She shared stories about enrolling a new coaching client while sitting next to someone on an airplane. Those clients would champion her, promoting her far and wide. She never marketed ever.

Companies scrambled to hire her for keynote speaking gigs and she wasn’t even trying for that.

Years into our friendship I asked Reena how she made so much happen so effortlessly and she told me a harrowing and deeply personal story, which is why I’m not sharing her real name. She was abducted at the side of a road, dragged into a forest, beat and abused and left for dead.

She survived by crawling 15 miles out of the forest. And she started a new life unafraid and accepting life the way it came to her.

She didn’t tell me this story as a victim. She told it as the moment of her life transformation. And what I learned from her is this …

I make my success by the way I think, by how well I accept myself, my circumstances and other people.

So … if you’re out there listening … thank you for being my teacher, “Reena”!

Flash forward 14 years. Here we are. All of us are soaking in fear or worse with Covid in our midst for nearly a year now.

The Revolutionary Concept of Radical Self Approval

Sooooo … I had a rough week. And my deadline to create this week’s podcast episode loomed over me. I found myself without words. A rare thing!

Yeah, there are some hard things going on in my life and a bit of depression pulled me down. I found myself spinning stories about myself and my future.

The mean woman inside me took over for a bit. I felt listless and rudderless.

Then, literally the sun came out. And I thought about Reena, that champion of mine from early days in Prosperous Coach. And it helped me remember a watch phrase … Radical Self Approval.

Do you know about Radical Self Approval? For me this concept REVOLUTIONARY!

I wish someone had taught me about this when I was in high school or when I was a young adult trying to make my way without making such a mess of things. I wish I’d known it when I started my coaching business.

I want you to have this to help you starting YOUR coaching business. Radical Self Approval is just what it sounds like. It comes from a term “Radical Acceptance” coined by Marsha Linehan, who created a form of talk therapy to deal with difficult emotions while changing thinking patterns.

Everyone needs that, right?

I have a little handwritten sign at my desk with the words Radical Self Approval. It’s taught me that it’s okay to “play all the keys of the keyboard”. Feel all the feels and also, at the same time, to accept what is and move forward with joy.

It’s about becoming non-judgmental about yourself, your world and your circumstances. 

Human beings spend too much of their time beating themselves up.

In the last 15 minutes what have you been beating yourself up about?

It could be the thing you just said to a client. The way you feel about yourself, your coaching abilities. The way you feel about your clients. Or the way you feel about the money you’re making or not making. Or maybe it’s judgment about what you could be doing to build your business but are not doing.

I get it, my friend. Every one struggles with these feelings. With beating themselves up. 

But we know this … beating someone up is not a way to get then to do more and be more with excellence. 

It’s self acceptance and being in love with yourself, your circumstances even if they are hard that will encourage you to greatness.

Try it out. Replace your mean voice with Radical Self Approval and see what happens next. 

Ep 111 – Smart and Not So Smart Coaching Business Expenses

This episode is inspired by a smart question from one of my VIP clients.

So I’m going to reveal where expenses go for my coaching business. And while I’m at it, I’ll share common expense pitfalls for coaches and finance savvy mindset tips.

I know this might seem boring but earning well is not boring. Losing profit after all you work feels like a tragedy. Don’t go there.

Reading the show notes for this episode will be especially helpful because I’ll list the sources of my expenses but I’m not going to bore you by listing them out verbally. Find those complete show notes at prosperouscoach.com/111.

Bright Shiny Apps & Services Steal Your Coaching Profits

First let’s talk about not-so-smart uses of your money for your coaching business.

There are multitudes of ads for bright shiny apps and services coming at you in your inbox and on social media. And in a moment of scarcity thinking you might be tempted to buy one, and another, and then another.

You know, you might think something like “maybe THIS will make the difference in my business”. That can be a dangerous thought.

Those seemingly little $10/month and $20/month expenses quickly add up to thousands of dollars annually that your earnings might not cover. So think smart and choose wisely.

It’s so tempting as a new coach to get services for online client portals, social media time saving apps, virtual assistants, bookkeepers and all sorts of extras that in the long run probably won’t add enough value to help you earn more.

Keep Your Business Low Labor and Low Overhead

Design your business to run lean. That doesn’t mean being cheap with your business. The old penny wise pound foolish adage applies.

Smart expenses are those that save you significant time so you can serve clients more efficiently and earn more. But it takes some trial and error to learn how to invest money only where it really counts.

Be strategic with this rule:

Only invest in what you need right now

not what you think you might need someday.

Regularly dump apps and services that aren’t helping you earn more. If you have a low-income month or year, it could partially be that you’re spending too freely.

Think twice about the fancy, expensive coaches portal or top of line email campaign service. You don’t need those.

Here’s a tip … if you’re 100% sure you like an app or service and it’s truly helping your bottom line then opt for annual payments for as many expenses as you can instead of monthly because you’ll save a lot.

Startup Expenses Are Higher

Investing in your business is not only necessary, but it’s a privilege. Think of expenses for useful services as a blessing that helps you thrive. Pay for them with gratitude.

For example, significant investment goes into coach training (the vocational skills side of your business) and for hiring a business mentor like me to help you get everything set up right the first time (which is the strategic side of your business).

Also I think it’s wise to invest in a good web designer who is also a coder to create a WordPress website for you. Doing your own site on Wix or Squarespace may come back to bite you now or later.

It is not unusual to spend $25,000 out of pocket before you earn much as a coach. So don’t let anyone make you feel bad about start up expenses. It’s normal for ALL businesses and entrepreneurs. But do choose wisely.

Don’t Waste Money on These Expenses

Finance experts say your expenses should be no more than 30% of total revenue. But imagine your profits if you could cut expenses down to only 10%? That’s doable. Check out Episode 5 about The Simplest Coaching Business Model. It’s one of my most listened to episodes.

By design, my business model is high on profit and low on labor and expenses. And that’s what I teach my VIP clients to create in my Coaching Business Breakthrough program.

I administrate nearly every aspect of my business myself. Once you learn how it’s fast and easy.

For a few years I’d had a bookkeeper. No more, I just use Quickbooks. A one time expense and an hour each month of my own time is far better than spending thousands monthly.

Virtual Assistants are also expensive and most don’t save you time unless you opt for a more complex business model with online products, training, webinars etc. Those things greatly reduce your profits unless you get into the business of expanded promotion, which frankly wore me out and brought me no joy.

I think it’s better to work a 30 hour week earning $200K and keep 90% of it than to work a 60 hour week earning $500K and keep only 50% of that. But that’s me.

I do most of my website updating and all of my podcast tasks. I have it all streamlined.

I also don’t advertise. Look … what I do and what you do can’t effectively be advertised.

So instead of blowing money on ads, have a strong content strategy. Put out an excellent weekly podcast episode or video. That’s how you attract ideal clients because if they like you and trust you they’ll want to work with you.

Ads do not build trust!

My annual business expenses for this past year were $6,000. That may sound high but it’s really not when you consider that as well as the monthly or annual costs for apps to run my business and podcast, it also includes:

  • cell phone and internet costs
  • CPA for tax prep
  • web design
  • computer consultant services

If I remove those things my total expenses this past year were only $3300 or an average of $275 per month.

I hope this inspires you to run a lean business and keep your business model simple. It’s a great life!

Here’s a list of my expenses for your interest:
Web Domain fees – GoDaddy is usually less than $10 per domain and you don’t need any bells & whistles they try to sell you like privacy, email and web hosting.

Web Hosting – I use A2 Hosting because they aren’t a huge company and don’t drive me crazy trying to sell me stuff no one needs.

Email Campaign Company – I swear by Aweber’s excellent customer service at $179 per year.

Podcast Hosting – I love Buzzsprout for their high customer service at $12 per month.

Internet fees – You can deduct ½ of your internet fees on taxes each year.

Mobile Phone – I use my cell phone for business and personal and can deduct ½ the charges

Credit card fees – After much research and trial I use PayPal to collect fees and pay 2.5%. I’ve found that no fee solutions or low fee solutions have huge hassle factors.

Scheduling system – TimeTrade is what I use and one of the best and least expensive out there. I’m grandfathered in at $40 per year.

Password System  – LastPass keeps my passwords easily accessible for $37 per year.

CPA – My expenses for tax prep run about $300 per year I stay with free services for Canva, Dropbox and a few others because I try to stay away from monthly fees which add up fast.

Ep 110 – 6 Services Every Coach Needs For An Easy Business

There are 6 services I use for my coaching business that I could not live without.

I keep my business super streamlined for expenses, which means I keep most of what I earn. I want you to have high profit and the best support too.

Custom WordPress Website

There are loads of debates about which is best web platform … the venerable WordPress or newer on the block Wix and Squarespace.

I always advise WordPress over the others for 3 main reasons:

  • WordPress is self-hosted. Which means you own your website.
  • It has unlimited customization capabilities.
  • It gives you access to more 3rd party plugins.

Bottom line … if your intention is to succeed in your business and be in it for the long run, WordPress beats the other platforms hands down because it can grow as your business grows.

WordPress templates can easily morph into a home for your blog or podcast, a membership site, an online store. You can add sales page builders, survey or forms builders, advanced analytics, SEO builders, Live Chat, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg for WordPress plugins.

And if you’re thinking about having a coach training school or some other coach service create a website for you, don’t. They won’t be what I call Client Winning Websites.

I have a whole series of podcasts about what makes for a client winning website. Check that out at prosperouscoach.com/website

Don’t go cheap with your website. This is one of a few places that you want invest in your success. I highly recommend that you have Nichole Betterley create your WordPress website for you.

Nichole is simply the best web designer for coach’s websites I’ve ever met.

She’s a trained coach herself, a designer and coder. It’s extremely rare to find all of those skills in one person. You will LOVE her. All of my clients do and she’s also been my designer since 2006 helping my website grow as my business grows and morphs.

We did episode #45 together called Customer Coaching Website Vs. DIY Template.

Hold off on creating a website until you are crystal clear about who is your target audience and what specific problem your help them solve with your coaching niche.

If you’re not crystal clear about this, let’s have a Strategy Session and nail that down for you.

Aweber

Sometimes called an Email Blast Company or Email Campaign Company, this service is all about getting your messages out to people who have trusted you by opting in on your website for your free offer, also called a lead magnet.

You email leads list is you community for your coaching business.

This type of service helps you:

  • manage email addresses of people who have opted in for your free offer
  • get your emails delivered in a way that meets regulations
  • automates everything so you save time
  • build trusting relationships with followers
  • review statistics that help you improve

No doubt you’ve heard of Mail Chimp and Constant Contact, there are dozens more that get more and more technical and costly up the scale.

For a startup coach I suggest a relatively inexpensive and easy to use service that has services you can grow into. My hands down favorite is Aweber (affiliate link).

It’s been around a lot longer than most Email Marketing Services. Here’s why I LOVE them:

  • Customer Service
  • Customer Service
  • Customer Service

I’m the kind of person who wants a person I can talk to in real time if I need help. Most tech companies don’t share their phone number or at best only have an online chat. If they do let you speak with someone you reach an overseas call center. And your problem takes 3x longer to fix than it should.

Whenever you call Aweber you get to a highly trained person within a minute or two who will help you or find someone to help you in one phone call.

They’ll patiently teach you how to use their systems so it’s easy peasy. And no one says anything like: “I understand your needs, Miss Rhonda.”

The other reasons I like Aweber is:

  • They are highly respected by ISPs (Internet Service Providers) so emails from them get priority delivery.
  • They constantly improve their systems in a user friendly way. There’s never that feeling of disconnect between the way their online tool works and the way you think it should work.
  • Aweber is comparable in price to Constant Contact.
  • And, Aweber integrates extremely well with WordPress.
  • Aweber

Mail Chimp is a bit less expensive for their Essential Plan but it’s missing some features at that level and they just can’t match Aweber’s customer service.

Deposit Photo

I recommend that all coaches have a content strategy such as a blog, videos or a podcast (my personal favorite) that goes out like clockwork each week and is highly relevant to your target audience.

Deposit Photo is a low cost source of excellent stock photos, videos, vector images and illustrations. Sure there are some decent free stuff out there. But honestly I can tell who is using the free stuff. The quality just isn’t there.

Every year for the last 3 years Deposit Photo has a Black Friday special where you can get 50 images for $29 through AppSumo. That’s a great deal.

Canva

You may have heard of Canva. What a great app! The free version gets you far in being able to create great looking social media memes – you know little quotes or statements that you put on Instagram, Facebook or wherever.

You can also create gorgeous lead magnets, brochures, postcards or letterheads all by yourself. Then you download the pdf, png or jpg to get your item out there.

LastPass

I don’t know how people do without a password app like LastPass. I probably have over 200 passwords for my business and home life. And security is critical in the current hacking environment online.

So this app creates and stores secure passwords and makes it super easy to get into everyplace online both on your laptop and phone with one master password that allows you to access all other passwords. I could not live without this app!

An Online Scheduler

There are places to spend the big bucks (your website) and places not to. When you can find a tool that does an excellent job serving your needs and keeps your overhead low, that’s a place to save.

I came across TimeTrade a decade ago and I continuously sing its praises. Why do I love it so?

  • Customer Service – They are well set up to solve challenges with local, positive and knowledgeable support.
  • Price – Compare Time Trade for $6.50/mo or $78/yr with Acuity, which is $15/mo or $180/yr.

Okay, that’s my 6 top services list that all coaches need!

Ep 109 – Are You Casting a Spell Against Your Coaching Business?

In episode 106 I talked about practices I use to help me manifest more ideal coaching clients and income.

In this episode, let’s talk about the other side of that – how coaches cast a spell of failure on themselves.

A couple of caveats first …

  • I believe that I can change my mind. I can change my beliefs. I can change the way I respond to things. It may take time and it’s doable with awareness.
  • I believe that success requires more than positive thinking. Positive thinking lightens the way. It helps me put the focus on what’s working and gratitude. Strategic action joins with positive thinking to help me attract what I want.

So with that in mind … imagine that money and success are simply a flow of energy. Visualize them as a river. A river wants to flow, right? And it will find the way of least resistance to keep flowing.

What can you do to encourage the flow of money and success towards you?

Consider listening to episode 104 and whole series on Money Mastery at prosperouscoach.com/money

What are you thinking, saying or doing that discourages that flow?

I can tell you how I used to discourage the flow of positive results in my coaching business. It came down to spending more time in fear and worry than in believing in myself and taking strategic action.

  • I saw other people’s successes as a threat to my own.
  • I didn’t own my value shown by how I didn’t highly value my time. (I’m talking about fees here)
  • I feared success and kept myself small in my actions.
  • I paid more attention to my failures than my successes.

Sound familiar?

Scarcity thinking is normal for most human beings. Our culture teaches us to long for what we don’t have rather than receive and enjoy what we do. That builds a muscle for wanting instead of building a muscle for receiving and enjoying.

You can build a stronger muscle for receiving and gratitude. And by doing that you attract more of what you want that what you don’t want.

Back to the energy metaphor, fear and worry about what you DON’T WANT to happen is like putting an obstacle right in the middle of that positive energy flow so that it simply goes around you. Picture a beaver dam in a river.

Here’s another way to illustrate this. Have you ever spent time with someone who is continuously self-deprecating or negative? How does it make you feel? Even if you love the person it becomes less and less good for you to be around them. Eventually you will find excuses not to connect.

Continuously is the watchword here. Everyone deserves the opportunity for an occasional rant.

Everyone deserves to share real feelings with people they care about. Ideally, feeling those feelings and sharing them creates forward movement. It’s catharsis rather than habit.

In the past I cast a spell on myself by thinking negative thoughts over and over. Thoughts like:

  • “Nothing is working.”
  • “It takes a long time to be successful.”
  • “No one wants my services.”
  • “No one will pay my fees.”
  • “I’m discouraged. I’m disappointed.”

That breeds disappointment which quickly becomes toxic.

Just saying these things out loud to you I feel the negative impact of them. So banish the thoughts! These are not my thought habits now.

The easiest way to replace thought patterns is to notice what you’re saying to yourself. Catch yourself in the thinking and reframe.

Ask people close to you to gently catch you in that thinking too. A gentle reminder to reframe is all you need to build the muscle for receiving and gratitude.

Prospects can feel your energy. They can feel what you’re putting out there. They may not consciously know what you’re saying to yourself but the scarcity is there as an energy and repels them.

Consider jotting down the ways you have been casting a negative spell on yourself. Writing those things down helps you put yourself on notice.

Also write down a reframe. Play with the reframe until there’s no hint of negative spell casting in it. You can do this!

Many Blessings to You!

Ep 108 – How To Develop Your Signature Coaching Program

This episode is part of my Money Mastery series and it’s being reprised as LISTENER’S CHOICE because it had record listens over the last year.

Thank you, Coaches, for your loyal listenership! I’m grateful for you!

Today’s episode is about a better way to package a coaching program and earn more than by the session or group of sessions.

First, let’s talk about schools of thought. There are schools of thought about everything.

If you’re still in coach training some trainers may insist that coaching should not be programmed. In other words, you shouldn’t create an offer other than coaching sessions because it means that you take away the coach’s agenda.

If you’ve been listening to me for a while you know I believe that you can both serve a client’s agenda AND offer a specific program for a specific audience that solves their biggest problem and gets them where they want to go.

After 22 years of experience in my own coaching business and helping hundreds of coaches reach financial success in their businesses in my private VIP program, I know that selling coaching by the session only may keep you at poverty income levels.

So what is a better way that helps you earn well as a coach? I’ve been leading to this in the previous episodes so I hope you’ll listen to those too.

Create a Customized VIP Program

This is what I help all my clients create.

It helps the coach feel confident they have something of value to offer. They learn to articulate what they do in meaningful terms and without the agony of trying to convince people to buy coaching.

Of course, like all successful aspects of a coaching business, creating this program has critical steps that go before.

  1. It begins by targeting a viable audience – one that’s full of seekers – people who do invest in their professional and personal growth.
  2. Next you uncover their biggest known problems and the ultimate outcome they want to achieve. That becomes your coaching niche.
  3. Then, you put together a signature program tailor made to that audience. Your program has a clear set of milestones that you’ll help your clients achieve on the way to that ultimate desired outcome.
  4. Then, you learn how to articulate that to prospects in a way that’s benefit rich, supplying them with assurance of both tangible or concrete and intangible or emotional things they’d like to achieve with your help. That there is a structure in your program helps them to trust you and feel inspired to invest.
  5. Lastly, you need a strategy to attract clients, build trust and rapport, then gently send them through a conversion process, sometimes called a funnel, so they are motivated to have a Discovery Session with you, where you’ll enroll them.

Getting all of this done isn’t easy by yourself.

It helps to have a guide like me help you with all the steps no matter how big or small.

Examples of VIP Coaching Programs

For example, let’s say you’re a relationship coach helping people to find their soul mate. Your program might include the following milestones – takeaways you’ll help your clients achieve:

  • Identifying personal values and partnership values. What are their must haves and deal breakers in their life partnership?
  • Getting ready for a partner. What are their strengths but also habits and behaviors in need of adjustment? What are their limiting beliefs about relationships? You might even have something like a life makeover in your program.
  • Setting first date goals. Helping them set personal boundaries and show up with confidence.
  • Discovering the best places to meet people and connect.

There’s a clear arc to the program and plenty of opportunity for the client to bring the agenda to sessions. This structure is more about helping prospects feel confident to work with you.

Or, let’s say you’re a leadership coach and target HR leaders to gain greater impact in their role – something you’ve discovered from market research that’s a top goal of HR leaders. Your program’s milestones might include:

  1. Creating a vision for the impact they wish to make.
  2. Identifying what’s been in the way.
  3. Uncovering their professional strengths and learning how to leverage them.
  4. Identifying skills and behaviors that need attention and areas to stretch.
  5. Develop good habits to strengthen their resilience, mindset and competencies.
  6. Building their rapport, identifying sponsors and other relationships that would help their star rise.
  7. Helping them develop a thicker skin and become bolder in meetings.

You can see that the focus in these descriptions is not about you and your skills as the coach. It’s about the target audience and what they want. But at the same time these kinds of milestones are what all coaches can help their clients achieve.

Either of these programs could be a 4 – 6 months or longer.

Bundle Significant Value Into The Program

So far in your coaching business you might be simply trying to convince a client to hook on … to want coaching and be willing to invest in a certain number of sessions up front.

It’s painful. And it’s without context especially if you haven’t narrowed to a viable audience, done market research and discovered what your audience wants so much they’d be willing to invest in your help to get it.

Programming your coaching into a VIP program creates a context for why a person would want to invest at a high level in their future success. And, you can develop this program without even using the word “coaching”. That’s your toolbox not an outcome they know they want.

Identify What They’ll Get In Your Coaching Program

The next step for creating your program is to identify the features. What do they get when they invest in the program? Consider bundling some of these things into your program:

  • A certain number of private sessions, say 10 – 18 sessions depending on length of your program, your preferences, and what it takes to achieve the goals
  • A certain number of group sessions or access to a closed Facebook group for community support
  • Annual retreats
  • Half or full VIP day where they fly out to work with you face to face on some aspect
  • Unlimited emails to you
  • Session recaps
  • Pre-created guides, forms or assessments to ease a process.

These things still involve coaching and coaching skills. But they add excitement to a program and help justify the fees to enroll.